I am an Educational Psychologist with a focus and a passion for early development. I believe that early relationships and experiences pave the way for how we are in the world. For me, healthy development occurs when children are understood and accepted as individuals. I have a special interest in challenging behaviour, childhood trauma and parent and child relationships.
I began my career working with children as a foundation phase teacher. I have worked with a variety of communities at various public and private schools both in South Africa and England. Whilst teaching I realised that many of the children who struggled in school did not have a particular learning disorder, but rather that their educational needs were not being effectively met within the classroom. This often resulted in behavioural difficulties and a decline in both academic ability and emotional well-being. I had a desire to learn more about the children in my care in terms of their psychological and emotional development and the effect that it had on their learning. This led me to continue my studies. I specialized in Inclusive Education, but still wanted to know more. My need to understand children and facilitate their optimal functioning both emotionally and educationally led me to study Educational Psychology.
I offer play therapy to address difficulties such as trauma, poor self-esteem, behavioural and relational difficulties which are having an impact on a child’s optimal development. Young children are not always able to communicate their inner world through language and so through allowing them to engage in free play I am given access to the child's inner thoughts and feelings. Working in this way allows children to communicate in a non-threatening, age appropriate way. The aim is to help children work through their difficulties by giving them an experience of feeling safe, understood and accepted.
Parent work is essential when working towards overcoming children's difficulties and thus this type of work is usually part of the therapeutic process. Parents may either be in the room with their child or included in the process through regular feedback or parenting sessions. Each child’s, situation and family is unique as are the interventions for each child.
Parent-Infant Psychotherapy is offered at my practice. This is a specialized intervention specifically aimed at parents and infants. This type of therapy addresses the parent-infant relationship and problem’s related to the baby’s poor eating, excessive crying and sleeping difficulties. A parent’s unconscious patterns of behaviour and relating may have an impact on their relationship with their baby. I work with the parent and the infant together to identify these patterns and bring them into awareness. The aim is to promote optimal infant development by enhancing the infant’s attachment security.
Psychological Assessments are often requested by schools when teacher’s feel that children are experiencing difficulties in terms of their school performance and often are described as not reaching their potential. These assessments provide insight into a child’s cognitive, emotional and academic strengths and difficulties. This is gained through the use of a combination of tests, questionnaires and tasks. The aim is to understand the child and develop an intervention plan of action so that each child is more able to reach their potential.
Practice No: 0860030726508
HPCSA No: PS0138142